From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Margaritaville launches Compass brand, targets new guests
- HNA to sell stake in NH Hotels to Thai Minor International
- AccorHotels to expand in Mexico, Caribbean
- Pace of deals in US remains strong
- Manhattan’s Biltmore to transform into tech hub
*Updated 11:15 a.m. ET 7 June 2018 to include confirmed statements from Minor International.
Margaritaville launches Compass brand, targets new guests: Executives with Margaritaville Holdings officially launched its Compass by Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts brand at this year’s NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, writes Hotel News Now’s Jeff Higley.
Rick Cunningham, VP of hotel development, said Compass is expected to give the company a chance to branch out into new markets like college towns.
“We own the baby boomer market, and they have kids in these towns,” he said. “We’re using the college ambassador program (to attract new customers). You can’t put a big Margaritaville resort in a college town, so this gives us the option to be in that market.”
For more coverage out of NYU, check back with HNN during the week.
HNA to sell stake in NH Hotels to Thai Minor International*: Chinese firm HNA Group announced Tuesday it will sell a stake in Spain’s NH Hotels to Thai Minor International, in two phases, Reuters reports.
In a filing to Spain’s market regulator, HNA said it has agreed to first sell 17.64% of its stake in the hotel chain for €6.40 per share ($7.54), subject to certain conditions, the news outlet reports. If the first sale is completed, HNA will then sell the remaining 8.83% of NH for €6.10 per share ($7.19). This implies Thai Minor International will go for a takeover bid for NH valued around €622 million ($732.9 million).
Minor released a statement that it has an agreement with HNA Group to buy an equity stake of 25.2% in NH valued at €619 million ($731.1 million), according to a news release. This comes after Minor’s earlier purchase of a 9.5% shareholding in NH. “(Minor) also confirms that it will follow Spanish regulations as applicable to launch an all-cash public tender offer to acquire NH Hotel Group’s remaining shares,” the release states.
More than 150 hotels and resorts are owned or operated by Minor, including brands by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International, reports Singapore-based newspaper The Business Times. Since the beginning of 2018, HNA has agreed to sell more than $10 billion of real estate in Australia, New York, Hong Kong as well as shares in Deutsche Bank and Hilton. But Hilton later announced it agreed to repurchase shares from HNA.
AccorHotels to expand in Mexico, Caribbean: Officials with French company AccorHotels are planning to expand the portfolio in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean over the next few years, with a focus now on the luxury segment, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.
“The idea is Accor wants to grow stronger every day in the luxury segment,” said Alexis Ralph, VP of development for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean at AccorHotels. “Mexico and Central America have high potential (for growth in luxury) with things like luxury-branded resorts.”
The combination of the company’s Onefinestay homesharing options and branded residential properties with traditional hotel options will leverage Accor’s goal of offering “augmented hospitality,” he added.
Pace of deals in US remains strong: Within the first four months of 2018, JLL’s preliminary figures show U.S. hotel transaction volumes reached more than $11.9 billion, which is a 93% increase year over year. The pace of deals is mainly driven by South Florida and West Coast markets like Hawaii as well as full-service hotel portfolios, the release states.
“Going into this year, we were hopeful that the improving economy and strong employment trends would translate to an acceleration in (revenue per available room),” said Arthur Adler, chairman, Americas, for JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, in the release. “Since March, that is exactly what has happened. Investor sentiment has markedly improved based on the widely held belief that demand will outstrip supply for the foreseeable future resulting in stronger pricing power and solid profit improvement.”
Manhattan’s Biltmore to transform into tech hub: The Biltmore Hotel in Manhattan, which opened in 1913, will be reconfigured into a tech hub reminiscent of Silicon Valley startups, Bloomberg reports.
Milstein Properties, which has owned the 1.1 million-square-foot building for decades, will invest more than $100 million for the renovation. The new space will “accommodate tenants ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 divisions,” Bloomberg reports.
Compiled by Dana Miller.